Jan 17, 2013 10:00pm PST
founded the church in 1954 and while the religion has been a positive, transformative experience for some, it has long been shadowed by allegations that people have been emotionally and sometimes even physically abused. >> i don't think anybody would join scientology in order to be abusiv abusive. they go into scientology because they want help. but at a deeper level, you go further and further into the church, the distortions become more and more apparent. and it's at those levels that i think scientology has lost its way. >> why do you think the church is so controversial? >> it has a history of being very vindictive and litigious. and it has a history of infiltrating the government and spying on people. and so it has created an atmosphere of fear that surrounds it. >> in the 1970s, the church launched a massive espionage effort called operation snow white because the church believed the government was collecting information damaging to the church. fall ollowing an five raid, 11 scientologies, including hubbard's wife, were convicted of entering numerous agencies and stealing documents.
Jan 17, 2013 5:30pm PST
that investigates life inside the controversial religion. that's our all-new "rock center," tonight at 10:00, 9:00 central. i'm brian williams. we sure hope to have you back here tomorrow evening. good night.
Jan 17, 2013 7:00am PST
member paul hagut says he thinks the religion is a cult. the church dismisses him as the hypocrite of hollywood. we'll speak with him and talk to the author of a new book that explores the link between scientology and hollywood. >>> we want to get to breaking news. nbc's nichelle cokosinkski liven london. >> reporter: this has been changing by the moment. first, the report that a number of hostages has escaped. now that algerians have raided the facility and a number of have been killed, including hostages. 41 people held, among them americans, british, norwegians, and they called this retribution for french intervention in neighboring mali against militant there. at this hour scattered reports out of the algerian desert. that large bp gas facility, that a standoff is going on. algerian army has militants and dozens of international hostages surrounded. among them, americans. >> in order to protect their safety, i'm not going to get into numbers, i'm not going to get into names, not going to get into any further details as we continue to work on this issue with the algerian authori
Jan 19, 2013 5:00am PST
. clearly they must get something out of this religion and of this faith. what do you think they are getting out of scientology? >> let's start with millions of members which the church says that they have. according to census figures, 25,000 people in the u.s. call themselves scientologists. that's half the number of rastafarians. in the entire world there may be 30,000. this figure, millions of scientologists, is another one of those unsupported statements by the church that they're constantly putting out with no evidence about it at all. >> there's been a lot of reaction to your book, as you know. >> yes. >> the church has dismissed it. they have questioned your credibility, calling your sources liars. and both the canadian and the british versions of your book at the last minute are now not being published. the church says the reason is because it's false. and that it's defamatoriy. how do you respond? >> i know the church came here and talked to your executives. and you asked them to be on camera. where are they? did you ask david miskavich to come on and defend the allegations against